From Tennessee Today:
Five-time National Football League Most Valuable Player, Denver Broncos quarterback, and Vols legend Peyton Manning was on campus Monday to present the Peyton Manning Scholarship to four incoming freshmen.
Manning, Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek, and Provost Susan Martin met with the students and their families for a brief ceremony in the Peyton Manning Locker Room at Neyland Stadium.
“We are grateful for the opportunities we have had to give the gift of an education to deserving UT students every year through the scholarship program,” said Manning. “It means a great deal to us to give young people an edge in maximizing their potential. This scholarship program and its recipients have developed into a family, and witnessing the growth and successes of these students academically, personally, and ultimately as professionals in the workforce has made this one of our most rewarding endeavors.”
The Peyton Manning Scholarship Endowment was established in 1998 and now has supported twenty-five students who have benefited from the scholarship. It is awarded to incoming students on the basis of academic achievement, leadership, and community service. All Peyton Manning Scholars are part of the Haslam Scholars Program. Students in this premier honors program receive a scholarship package that totals more than $22,000 for four years and a study abroad experience valued at $4,000, as well as up to $7,000 to support an additional study abroad experience, undergraduate research, and travel to present their work.
This year’s Peyton Manning Scholars are
- Alayna Marie Cameron, from Cookeville, Tennessee, who will major in chemical engineering
- Ainsley Caitlin Ellington, from Alcoa, Tennessee, also studying chemical engineering
- Jason Liang, from Collierville, Tennessee, double majoring in computer science and mathematics
- Michael Steven Lidwin, from Chantilly, Virginia, who will major in architecture
In April, Manning, and his wife, Ashley, announced a $3 million leadership commitment to UT to benefit both the Peyton Manning Scholarship Endowment and the Tennessee football program. With this gift, the Peyton Manning Scholarship will grow to sixteen recipients annually, and the university will honor two individuals, Gus Manning and Carmen Tegano, who are very special to Manning.
While on campus, Manning visited Gate 16 at Neyland Stadium, which was renamed Gus Manning Gate to honor the Tennessee legend who has served the university and its athletics program for sixty-four years. In 2017, the university will open the new residence hall replacing Gibbs Hall, which will include the Carmen and Deborah Tegano Student-Athlete Dining Hall. Carmen Tegano is a longtime associate athletics director, and his wife, Deborah, was one of Peyton Manning’s professors at UT.
In addition to the scholarship program that bears his name, Manning has supported numerous campus, athletics department, and UT football–related initiatives since leaving UT in 1997. He was a lead donor to the Neyland Stadium Master Plan renovations, specifically the Peyton Manning Locker Room, and to the state-of-the-art Anderson Training Center project. Manning has also made significant contributions to the Thornton Center and the College of Communication and Information.
Entering his eighteenth season in the NFL, Manning is the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. A five-time NFL Most Valuable Player and fourteen-time Pro Bowler, he is a Super Bowl champion who holds the record for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history (530). A four-year letterman and 1997 All-American at Tennessee, Manning led the Vols to the 1997 SEC championship. He owned a 39-6 record as a starting quarterback at UT and is the school’s career record holder in yards passing, touchdown passes, completions, completion percentage, and 300-yard games.
Manning earned his Bachelor of Arts in speech communication in three years, graduating at the end of his junior year. He returned for his senior season in 1997 and was honored that year with the Sullivan Award, presented annually to the nation’s top amateur athlete based on character, leadership, athletic ability, and the ideals of amateurism.
A GTE Academic All-American in 1997 and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Manning won the prestigious Burger King Vincent Draddy Scholar-Athlete of the Year, an honor that included a $100,000 endowed scholarship to the university. He was named the Maxwell Trophy winner as college football’s best player, while also bring recognized as the nation’s top quarterback with the Davey O’Brien and Johnny Unitas awards.
This story was originally published in Tennessee Today.